What I Love About Working in a School Setting–Kasey Bandy, SLP
Kasey Bandy has worked most recently as a speech language pathologist (SLP) with children aged birth through early childhood, but had previously also worked with elementary school students, all the way through high school students.
The Fulfilling Work of a School Setting SLP
Bandy didn’t expect to enjoy working with children, and was most surprised that she finds a lot of joy in working with early childhood students. She says that the students are excited to see her, and that, “There is no stigma to therapy yet.” Rather, the therapist is someone coming to “play” with them, helping them become confident socially and in language. Bandy loves how through this “playing” you can also see the burgeoning social skills these students are developing.
Bandy appreciates the middle and high school students for their ability to take instructions like adults, yet still find enjoyment in the therapy.
The Challenges of Being an SLP in a School
Bandy has felt fulfilled as a school SLP, but has found a few challenges along the way. She says that teachers don’t always get a lot of exposure to therapists, and as a result, don’t always understand what a therapist does. A school SLP must not only educate the student about therapy, but the teacher as well. “Helping teachers understand why you are there, helps them better understand your needs,” says Bandy.
What it Takes to Be an SLP in the School Setting
With her wide-ranging experiences with many ages, there are a few qualities of a school-setting SLP that Bandy finds necessary:
- Flexibility–You need to be able to change your schedule around the student’s schedule, as their classes are important.
- Creativity–Schools don’t have a lot of money, so schools don’t have a lot of materials for speech language pathologists to work with. You need to be able to be creative with the limited resources you have.
- Communication–Teachers, support staff, and peers are all involved in a student’s well-being. You need to be able to communicate effectively and efficiently with all of them.